This is Not About Writing

I work at a day job that can be … challenging. That is a really polite way of saying my job involves dealing with difficult people, people I would normally avoid, if given the chance.

The less polite way of saying it is that I have to talk to some of the most ignorant, angry, deluded, and sometimes even insane people I have ever had to interact with. I have been screamed at, sworn at, and that’s not the half of it. I have had some of the most unspeakable vicious things said to me by people who either felt justified in saying it (and they never are) or just didn’t want to miss the opportunity to anonymously degrade someone that they will never have to face again.

Are they all like that? No. I talk to people who have legitimate grievances, and fixing their problems is a joy. But they are rare, and some days I think they just might be extinct.

In a regular day at a regular job, you encounter these people every once in a while and you think, wow! That guy was NUTS! That chick was CRAZY! They must be outliers. Thank god the world isn’t full of ’em!

But this job of mine can really shake your faith in that assumption. I start to feel overwhelmed, that the majority of people in the world ARE that nuts, ARE that crazy. A creeping sense of hopelessness that gets hard to shake.

And then I head over to TED. TED lectures are nothing new to the Internet (though if they are new to you, you’re in for a treat) but they are always startling — in the research being done, the discoveries being made, and the philosophies being explored. But more than all of that, they are INSPIRING.

Looking to renew your faith in our so easily damnable species? Check out out some of the videos. See what human beings can do, what they dream of doing.

I didn’t realize how much I needed a mental pick-me-up until I learned about behavior and big cats (and not giving up), about how a guy struggling through dark times found a way to remember how to celebrate the small joys of life, and how improv and creative work affects the brain.

There just might be hope for us after all.

So, this isn’t about writing. But I can’t write without hope.



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